Fiona Sampson, photo by Swithin Fry

Fiona Sampson




Fiona Sampson has published six books and her work has been translated into Romanian, Serbian, Hebrew, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Finnish, Slovakian and Catalan.

After a brief solo career as a violinist, she pioneered writing in health care in the U.K., and now researches and consults internationally in this field.

She has a PhD in the philosophy of writing process (University of Nijmegen, 2001) and is AHRB Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at Oxford Brookes University and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sussex.

She is a specialist in the literatures of post-communist Europe.



Hotel Casino: chapbook (Aark Publications, 2004)

Folding the Real (Seren, 2001)

Picasso's Men (Phoenix Press, 1994)


The Distance Between Us: a verse-novel (Seren, 2005)


Jaan Kaplinski, Evening Brings Everything Back: co-translations with the author (Bloodaxe 2004)

Amir Or, Poem: translation editor and Afterword (Dedalus, Dublin, 2004)

A Fine Line: New Poetry from Enlargement Europe: edited with Jean Boase-Beier and Alexandra Buchler (Arc, 2004)

Patuvachki Dnevnik (Travel Diary): in Macedonian (Knixevna Akademia, Macedonia, 2004)

Folding the Real: in Romanian (Editura Paralela 45, 2004)

Editor-in-Chief, Orient Express: The Best of Contemporary Writing from Enlargement Europe (see below)

Editor-in-Chief, Context

Contributing Editor to Absinthe: New European Writing (US) and Train 67 (Ukraine).

Editorial adviser, East European Poems in Waiting Rooms 2004.

Board Member, Next Page Foundation East Translates East programme

Two significant essays:  "For the deaf war they're waging: Contemporary Romanian and Bessarabian Poetry" Poetry Review 93/3; "In the glass of dark: Mila Haugová" The Guardian Saturday Review 08/05/04

Writing in health care 

Creative Writing in Health and Social Care: edited (Jessica Kingsley), 2004).

Building a Wall with Words: Towards a Theoretical Foundation for Writing in Health Care (University of Nijmegen Press, 2001)

The Healing Word (The Poetry Society, 1999)

The Self on the Page with Celia Hunt (Jessica Kingsley, 1998, and published in Hebrew by A.C.H., 2001)

Birth Chart (ACE/Southampton City Gallery, 1993)

Writing in Health Care (DSS/Southern Arts, 1990)


Creative Writing and the Writer,  with Celia Hunt, forthcoming (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005 fc)

Work with literatures of post-communist Europe 

Editor, Orient Express, a journal of contemporary writing from post-communist Europe (Institute of Social Studies, Den Haag). Issue I Oct 2002 - here.

The launch issue of Orient Express  - "Where do we come from?" - brings together some of the most important and influential writing today. From the Baltic States to the Balkans, Central Europe to Turkey - in fiction, poetry, prose and a photo-essay, Romanian Trains - eighteen writers join in a search for origins. 
Launch double issue vols 1 & 2 November 2002 
226 pp. ISSN 1478-5005 
For further information, launch events and sales, contact:  
Subscriptions including p&p: 
individuals - £11 /in Enlargement Countries £5 
institutions - £37 /in Enlargement Countries £11
payable to:  Orient Express, Wythgreen House, 
Coleshill, nr Swindon SN6 7PS U.K.

Read extracts at 


Fiona Sampson is translated into 12 languages.

Director, Stephen Spender Memorial Trust 1998 - 2000.

Founder and Director, Welsh International Poetryfest 1995 - 2000.

As well as publications (see above), recent consultancy work includes:

  • conference on her work, Regional Arts Council, Oslo, Norway, 2001; 

  • Director, Strange Baggage national conference, Salisbury Arts Centre/Southern Arts, U.K., 2002; 

  • Co-Director, conference on poetry in hospice, University of Lund, Sweden, 2003.

U.K. pioneer with series of major residencies including: 

  • Isle of Wight District Health Authority 1989-1994; 

  • Age Concern Swindon 1992 - 1997; 

  • Salisbury District NHS Trust 1999 - 2002.

Founder Committee Member, LAPIDUS.

Co-founder and convenor, Post-Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing and Personal Development, University of Sussex; and numerous other training roles.


"superb... perfectly balancing remoter imaginative and intellectual perspectives with a richness of earthy, ordinary detail." 
Douglas Houston, Poetry Review

"What persuades that this is a first-rate talent is the logopoeia, the insight, the eyesight and the acumen: the quiet depth of a physical and visionary sensibility." 
Herbert Lomas, Ambit

"But overwhelmingly, Sampson is 'registering the possible and what's/beyond it'... culminating in exquisite music." 
Barbara Bentley, Poetry Wales

"Opening as if in mid-thought and entailing a single complex sentence, these poems are linguistic tours de force...point up the extraordinary versatility of Sampson's language." 
Ruth Sharman, Poetry London

"Where these poems might seem most foreign is in their intellectual slant, which is not very British and all the more welcome for that. The mainly fourteen-syllable lines of the sonnets, for example, allow for revisions and explorations which follow the patterns of a thought beating itself against an idea, and her ideas are often interestingly abstract, her investigations including the relationship between the self and the voice, how furniture occupies space and what a line is."
Skald - reviews by Zoë Skoulding 

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